After deliberating for well over seven months, the Union government has eventually evolved a scheme to extend the scope of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) on individual land holdings with Rs.1.5 lakh as the upper limit of expenditure.

The Rural Development Ministry has prepared a draft guideline, detailing not only the works that could be taken up for implementation but also the conditions to govern the scope of extension.

The proposed expenditure ceiling on MREGA works on individual land is Rs.1.5 lakh per job cardholder, but the additional cost for any one job or that which involves convergence with other schemes for value addition will require the clearance of the District Planning Committee (DPC).

Works on individual land will have to be planned and carried out as a package of activities to optimise productivity with internal and external linking with schemes of other departments with the MNREGA. In case of pond construction, the project must promote fish culture.

The Ministry has made it clear that works on the land of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes households with the individual landowner possessing a job card alone shall be taken up. Only upon saturation of these two categories in the gram panchayat concerned will work on lands of small and marginal farmers be considered for the second round of investment.

The Ministry allows works relating to irrigation facility, land development and horticulture and plantation to be taken up with the condition that these meet the MNREGA-prescribed labour-material ratio of 60:40.

Of the numerous irrigation facilities approved, the Ministry is particular that digging of well shall be taken up only with the clearance of the State government’s water department regarding water availability.

In horticulture, development of nurseries too shall be the task of job card household from whom quality saplings should be lifted.

The gram panchayat has been vested with the power to decide the priority of execution of the sanctioned works after displaying them on the notice board, while the project implementation agency is required to issue the completion certificate and the individual beneficiary will have to provide an installation certificate in the case of installation of pump set or drip irrigation system.

Gram panchayat will decide on priority execution of sanctioned works

Works should meet labour-material ratio of 60:40

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